Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks 10/20/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Matchup Preview (10/20/21)
It is the beginning of the NBA season, and right from the jump, we are blessed with a terrific game between two Atlantic Division rivals: the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. Boston lost two starters to the Knicks this off-season: Kemba Walker to free agency and Evan Fournier in a sign-and-trade. The Celtics have seen a ton of change in the past few months as they lost Danny Ainge as President of Basketball Operations, and then head coach Brad Stevens replaced him. Then, Stevens decided to hire Ime Udoka as the new head coach of the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Knicks have a new-look roster after they added Walker and Fournier to try and help their perimeter scoring issue, which ultimately limited their potential last year. Boston and New York each had similarly disappointing 2021 playoff appearances that ended in five games. In terms of the future, the Knicks have the clearer path, in my opinion, though. Boston will be without the services of Al Horford due to a positive COVID diagnosis, while Brown’s status is still up in the air. He should play but might be on a minutes restriction, which helps the Knicks immensely.
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Betting Odds
Vegas has put out several tight spreads during the opening week of the NBA, including this one, where the home team (New York Knicks) are merely slight favorites at -1. Boston will have to travel to New York City and take on the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. The point total is hovering around 215.5.
Boston was underwhelming last season, and its off-season was neither a win nor a loss, in my opinion. Nothing was done to change its outlook for the 2021-22 season drastically. The Celtics will have a hard time scoring over 105 against this hard-nosed team, especially with the absence of Al Horford and, potentially, Jaylen Brown, due to COVID. Meanwhile, New York added two guards to its starting lineup, both of whom played on the Celtics at the end of last season. Now, the Knicks have what I would consider to be a solid, complete roster. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier are fantastic matches for the Knicks, and all Tom Thibodeau has to do is get them to buy in on the defensive end. Assuming that happens, this should game be a no-brainer. I love the Knicks at -1 here.
In terms of the point total, I would shoot for the over. New York is a different team than last year. While it still centers around its defense, the Knicks have many more playmakers this season. The point total is set reasonably, but I think New York will score in that 112 range, with Boston not too far behind as it will still be a competitive bout.
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Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
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Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Analysis
Boston opted for a front-office shift this off-season and even made some changes, especially at the guard position. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier left, ironically to the Knicks, while Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson were welcomed into the organization. On paper, Walker and Fournier are better; however, the fit just was not there last season. Bringing in Horford was clearly more of a culture move than anything, but one that Stevens felt was necessary. Despite a few positive things happening in Boston, the C’s could be in trouble for this one. The Celtics will miss their veteran big man, Al Horford, and possibly even Jaylen Brown; although, we may not know for sure until shortly before game time.
New York Knicks Starting Lineup
New York Knicks Analysis
The Knicks addressed the primary need that they had in the off-season: shooting. While Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier aren’t snipers from behind the arc, they are still capable shooters. This was the glaring hole for the Knicks, and it is somewhat filled. Julius Randle is coming off an incredible year where he won the Most Improved Player award. The Knicks’ offense should continue to run through Randle, and his assists numbers will likely go up since there are now more scorers on the floor. Additionally, the Knicks will lean heavily on R.J. Barrett to be an offensive contributor, whether it is scoring or facilitating. At the same time, Mitchell Robinson should rim-protect on the defensive end at a high level.
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Daily Fantasy Picks
Boston gave Dennis Schroder a one-year “prove it” deal just a season after he had turned down a massive extension from the Los Angeles Lakers. He should be extremely motivated to play well this season so he can get paid, hopefully, something similar to what he was offered before in Los Angeles. Schroder should get plenty of minutes, and his value right now, in terms of fantasy, is at an all-time low. If you want to get Giannis or LeBron but need cheaper guards, Schroder should be a solid play.
Jayson Tatum should be your other play here for the Wednesday slate. Tatum is coming off another career season, and he gets better with every passing day. Additionally, Jaylen Brown’s status is up in the air due to his October 8th COVID diagnosis. If he doesn’t play, Tatum will put up massive numbers on the offensive end. Even if Brown does play, he may still be put on a minutes restriction to be safe, which still favors Tatum’s fantasy outlook. Expect 30+ points from Tatum in a hard-fought game.